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Pulled Groin vs. Hernia

Close-up of a man clutching his groin. The image has a red overlay to suggest pain he is feeling in his leg.Anyone who has ever suffered from a hernia knows they can be extremely uncomfortable and incapacitating. Namely, the pain of an inguinal hernia — also called a “groin hernia” — can make it difficult for patients to bend over or even walk. Because a pulled groin muscle can also cause significant pain in the same region, patients sometimes confuse this concern with an inguinal hernia. While the two conditions may feel similar, they are very different diagnoses, with each requiring different courses of action and measures of care. In this blog, our surgeons at Suburban Surgical Care explain the key differences between a pulled groin and a hernia — from their causes to the most effective treatment methods for each condition.

The term “pulled groin” refers to a stretched or torn muscle in the thigh. This type of injury can manifest as tenderness, soreness, bruising, or swelling in the groin or pelvic region. Usually caused by strenuous exercise, a pulled groin is most often seen in athletes, but can also occur in patients who have fallen or hurt themselves while lifting heavy objects. There are varying degrees of the condition, typically categorized into three “grades.” In most cases, a pulled groin will heal after a few months of ice, rest, and anti-inflammatories; however, the most ideal remedy for your injury will depend on its severity.

Meanwhile, an inguinal hernia occurs when the internal organs push through weakened abdominal muscles and penetrate the groin area. This type of hernia is the most common and — like other hernias — can typically manifest as a lump in the affected region. Patients can often treat a pulled groin with rest and ice, but a hernia will not get better without surgical intervention. If you are suffering from an inguinal hernia, our surgeons may recommend robotic hernia surgery with the advanced da Vinci® system. The system, which is known for its accuracy and efficiency, creates incisions which are both small and precise, typically making for a minimally invasive procedure with reduced scarring, bleeding, swelling, and recovery time.

If you have additional questions about the difference between a pulled groin and a hernia, do not hesitate to contact us today.